Monday, January 8, 2018

ARC Review: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Series:     Cutler Sutter & Salinas #2
Pub. Date:Jan 2, 2018
Publisher:Berkley Romance
Length:334 pages

As I was reading When All the Girls Have Gone, I was very intrigued by Max Cutler and his foster brothers who were rescued from a cult fire. I thought the backstory was captivating and was interested to learn more about their time in the cult and their life afterwards.  So I was very interested in this second installment where both of our main characters were cult survivors.

Despite suffering from PTSD, Virginia Troy has made a somewhat successful living as the owner of an art gallery in Seattle. Through the gallery, Virginia maintained contact with some of the older cult survivors who lived on a smalltown island off the coast. When one of the women dies under suspicious circumstances after leaving a series of cryptic painted messages, Virginia is determined to learn the truth. Luckily, she discovers that her savior, Anson Salinas, has opened a private investigation firm with his three foster sons, who were rescued from the same fire. The PTSD plus a crime connected to her past certainly was not easy for our heroine, but I thought she handled herself quite well. She was somewhat awkward, but much of that was due to the coping mechanisms she had developed over the years, and they made her character more interesting.

Cabot Sutter is one of the broody heroes that I typically love. He is gruff and straightforward and is totally wrapped up in his conspiracy theory about the former cult leader. Between Virginia's beauty and the opportunity to further investigate his cult theory, Cabot was immediately invested in Virginia's case. The investigation turns hairy very quickly and Cabot and Virginia find themselves dodging danger at every turn. I thought they made a great team. Also suffering from PTSD, but perhaps a milder case, Cabot was understanding of Virginia and her quirks. They had great communication and their awkwardness was sometimes cute.

The relationship between Cabot and Virginia built as they investigated the case, but it was not a hot and heavy affair. Both of our characters are awkward and quirky and have had problems with intimacy and dating in the past. So while they didn't have a lot of chemistry, they did fit together very well. The romance in this series takes a backseat to the suspense plot, which was fine with me. I have really enjoyed the backstory of the cult and the mystery about the survival of the former leader. This installment continues that storyline and I was just as intrigued. After the epilogue to this one, I can't wait to see where we are going next.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley. 

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